The Readers Episode 25; Age Appropriate Books and Books That Make You Feel Grubby

This week on The Readers Gavin and (a slightly addled post surgery) Simon discuss books and the age you read them, we have listener Dom Agius’ top five books and Gavin and Simon discuss the books that make you feel ‘grubby’.

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Age Appropriate Books () Are there some books you should have read by the time you are a certain age? Do books only work for us at the right age or at the right point in our lives? Is it best to read Anne Frank when you are her age? Can you only get the most out of books like ‘The Sense of An Ending’ by Julian Barnes or ‘The Finkler Question’ by Harold Jacobson when you have reached a certain age? Simon and Gavin also look at books they feel they should have read earlier or books they should have left until later in life?

Dom Agius’ Top Five Books () The photographer, The Readers listener and good friend of Simon’s gives us his top five books. You can find out more about him here.

The Orton Diaries by Joe Orton
In Tearing Haste; The Letters Between Deborah Devonshire and Patrick Leigh Fermor edited by Charlotte Mosley
Pet Shop Boys Annually by Chris Heath
Voguing and the House Ballroom Scene in New York City by Chantal Regnault
Love in a Cold Climate & The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford

Dirty Books, Grubby Books () Can books go too far? Simon read ‘First Love, Last Rights’ by Ian McEwan and finished it feeling grubby and shocked at himself for reading on because of the subject matter. In the same vein he also read Penny Hancock’s ‘Tideline’ and while it had some incredibly grubby moments he didn’t mind them so much because of the story. He and Gavin talk about the fine line between shocking to prove a point and shocking for the sake of it. When does it cross the line?

Next week on The Readers () We are six months old… we are plotting something special.

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6 thoughts on “The Readers Episode 25; Age Appropriate Books and Books That Make You Feel Grubby

  1. Hi Simon and Gav. I really enjoyed this episode. You both made good points during the discussion about books for a certain age. As I listened to you talk about “grubby books,” I felt at first that I’d need to leave you a comment or two. By the time I’d heard it all, I really wanted to write a post on my own blog to share my thoughts and my own experiences, then point you to that instead. If I find the time and write it, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, keep up the great work on the podcast.
    Oh — belated birthday wishes, Simon! 30 isn’t old, really! :-D

    • Belated thank you for those Birthday wishes Melanie, has only taken two months for me to say thanks, bad, bad Simon.

      Did you write the post in the end?

  2. I personally think that whatever works for one person at one age may work for another person at a different age. I think it just depends on the person who is reading the book and whether that sort of book interests them, no matter what their age. True, YA books will probably interest young adults than adults, but quite honestly what age does young adult end? Does that mean that by the time you are 30 you can’t read YA? I should hope not. By the way, I read Jane Eyre when I was thirteen/fourteen and really quite enjoyed it, even though it was an “adult” book.

    • I think you are right about interests that plays a big part indeed. I think age is an interesting thing as some people mature at different ages etc, this is certainly one of the posts that had got a lot of discussion going on Goodreads.

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